Pantheism Contradicts Islamic Belief

23May09

In The Name of Allah, The Merciful, The Compassionate

Shaykh Hamza Karamali beautifully explains the transcendance of Allah beyond (time and) space.

Source: SunniPath  

Question:

I have heard that you teach your students that Allah is everywhere. Is this true?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

No, this is not true. Pantheism contradicts the pure tawhid that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) brought and has hence never been accepted by Muslim scholars. We uncompromisingly adhere to the way of mainstream Sunni Islam (ahl al-sunna wa al-jama`ah) in all aspects of religion. Our very name, SunniPath, reflects this commitment.

We teach our students what has been transmitted to us by the top authorities of every religious discipline. In the discipline of Islamic belief, we teach Imam Abu Ja`far al-Tahawi’s celebrated creed, al-`Aqida al-Tahawiyya, followed by Shaykh Ibrahim al-Laqani’s authoritative summary of orthodox Muslim theology, The Pearl of Divine Oneness (Jawharat al-Tawhid). None of these books teach that “Allah is everywhere”. Quite the contrary: they explicitly teach that this belief is incorrect.

Orthodox Sunni belief teaches that Allah Most High does not resemble his creation in any way whatsoever, and hence neither location nor direction may be ascribed to Him. Allah’s creation occupies space; Allah is transcendently beyond occupying space. It is hence incorrect to say that He is everywhere, just as it is incorrect to say that he is physically “in” any particular place.

Imam al-Tahawi, for example, says, “He is exalted beyond limits, ends, parts, limbs and instruments, and—unlike all created things—the six directions do not encompass Him.” [1] 

Imam Akmal al-Din al-Babarti–who’s commentary on the Tahawiyya is the best one available in print–explained Imam al-Tahawi’s words, saying that this is a consequence of Allah Most High’s words, “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him,” (Quran, 42:11), and that,

… to ascribe a directions to Him is tantamount to saying that they encompass Him, and to say that He exists in a place is tantamount to saying that He is in need of space … Directions and locations are parts of the universe, and He is completely free of need from the universe. [2]

This is echoed several times by Imam Ibrahim al-Bajuri in his authoritative commentary on the Jawhara [3], and nicely summarized by the most authoritative late figure in the Maliki school, Imam al-Dardir, who wrote, “He is transcendently beyond indwelling (whether in particular places or whether like the indwelling of water throughout a green stalk).” [4] 

This is the pure belief of mainstream Sunni Islam, and this is what we adhere to. May Allah Most High keep us on the path of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`ah until we breathe our last. Ameen.

Hamza Karamali.

 

[1] Abu Ja`far al-Tahawi, al-`Aqida al-Tahawiyya, Section 7 (unpublished translation by Hamza Karamali)

[2] Akmal al-Din al-Babarti, Sharh `Aqidat Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`ah, Commentary on Tahawi’s words, wa la tahwihi al-jihat al-sitt

[3] Ibrahim al-Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid

[4] Ahmad al-Dardir, Sharh al-Kharida al-Bahiyya, Commentary on munazzahun `anil hululi wa al-jiha

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One Response to “Pantheism Contradicts Islamic Belief”

  1. 1 Hafsa

    assalamu alaykum,

    Please link to Learn Arabic Online
    on your blog

    Jazak Allah


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